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The Little Book of Modern Verse

Part 2 out of 5

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Nor care have I that storms and waters rave,
I cannot fear since you can never fail --
Once have I looked upon the burning grail,
And through your eyes have seen beyond the grave.

I know at last -- the strange, sweet mystery,
The nameless joy that trembled into tears,
The hush of wings when you were at my side --
For now the veil is rent and I can see,
See the true vision of the future years,
As in your face the love of Him who died!

The Secret. [George Edward Woodberry]

Nightingales warble about it,
All night under blossom and star;
The wild swan is dying without it,
And the eagle crieth afar;
The sun he doth mount but to find it,
Searching the green earth o'er;
But more doth a man's heart mind it,
Oh, more, more, more!

Over the gray leagues of ocean
The infinite yearneth alone;
The forests with wandering emotion
The thing they know not intone;
Creation arose but to see it,
A million lamps in the blue;
But a lover he shall be it
If one sweet maid is true.

The Nightingale unheard. [Josephine Preston Peabody]

Yes, Nightingale, through all the summer-time
We followed on, from moon to golden moon;
From where Salerno day-dreams in the noon,
And the far rose of Paestum once did climb.
All the white way beside the girdling blue,
Through sun-shrill vines and campanile chime,
We listened; -- from the old year to the new.
Brown bird, and where were you?

You, that Ravello lured not, throned on high
And filled with singing out of sun-burned throats!
Nor yet Minore of the flame-sailed boats;
Nor yet -- of all bird-song should glorify --
Assisi, Little Portion of the blest,
Assisi, in the bosom of the sky,
Where God's own singer thatched his sunward nest,
That little, heavenliest!

And north and north, to where the hedge-rows are,
That beckon with white looks an endless way;
Where, through the fair wet silverness of May,
A lamb shines out as sudden as a star,
Among the cloudy sheep; and green, and pale,
The may-trees reach and glimmer, near or far,
And the red may-trees wear a shining veil.
And still, no nightingale!

The one vain longing, -- through all journeyings,
The one: in every hushed and hearkening spot, --
All the soft-swarming dark where you were not,
Still longed for! Yes, for sake of dreams and wings,
And wonders, that your own must ever make
To bower you close, with all hearts' treasurings;
And for that speech toward which all hearts do ache; --
Even for Music's sake.

But most, his music whose beloved name
Forever writ in water of bright tears,
Wins to one grave-side even the Roman years,
That kindle there the hallowed April flame
Of comfort-breathing violets. By that shrine
Of Youth, Love, Death, forevermore the same,
Violets still! -- When falls, to leave no sign,
The arch of Constantine.

Most for his sake we dreamed. Tho' not as he,
From that lone spirit, brimmed with human woe,
Your song once shook to surging overflow.
How was it, sovran dweller of the tree,
His cry, still throbbing in the flooded shell
Of silence with remembered melody,
Could draw from you no answer to the spell?
-- O Voice, O Philomel?

Long time we wondered (and we knew not why): --
Nor dream, nor prayer, of wayside gladness born,
Nor vineyards waiting, nor reproachful thorn,
Nor yet the nested hill-towns set so high
All the white way beside the girdling blue, --
Nor olives, gray against a golden sky,
Could serve to wake that rapturous voice of you!
But the wise silence knew.

O Nightingale unheard! -- Unheard alone,
Throughout that woven music of the days
From the faint sea-rim to the market-place,
And ring of hammers on cathedral stone!
So be it, better so: that there should fail
For sun-filled ones, one blessed thing unknown.
To them, be hid forever, -- and all hail!
Sing never, Nightingale.

Sing, for the others! Sing; to some pale cheek
Against the window, like a starving flower.
Loose, with your singing, one poor pilgrim hour
Of journey, with some Heart's Desire to seek.
Loose, with your singing, captives such as these
In misery and iron, hearts too meek,
For voyage -- voyage over dreamful seas
To lost Hesperides.

Sing not for free-men. Ah, but sing for whom
The walls shut in; and even as eyes that fade,
The windows take no heed of light nor shade, --
The leaves are lost in mutterings of the loom.
Sing near! So in that golden overflowing
They may forget their wasted human bloom;
Pay the devouring days their all, unknowing, --
Reck not of life's bright going!

Sing not for lovers, side by side that hark;
Nor unto parted lovers, save they be
Parted indeed by more than makes the Sea,
Where never hope shall meet -- like mounting lark --
Far Joy's uprising; and no memories
Abide to star the music-haunted dark:
To them that sit in darkness, such as these,
Pour down, pour down heart's-ease.

Not in Kings' gardens. No; but where there haunt
The world's forgotten, both of men and birds;
The alleys of no hope and of no words,
The hidings where men reap not, though they plant;
But toil and thirst -- so dying and so born; --
And toil and thirst to gather to their want,
From the lean waste, beyond the daylight's scorn,
-- To gather grapes of thorn!

. . . . .

And for those two, your pilgrims without tears,
Who prayed a largess where there was no dearth,
Forgive it to their human-happy ears:
Forgive it them, brown music of the Earth,
Unknowing, -- though the wiser silence knew!
Forgive it to the music of the spheres
That while they walked together so, the Two
Together, -- heard not you.

Only of thee and me. [Louis Untermeyer]

Only of thee and me the night wind sings,
Only of us the sailors speak at sea,
The earth is filled with wondered whisperings
Only of thee and me.

Only of thee and me the breakers chant,
Only of us the stir in bush and tree;
The rain and sunshine tell the eager plant
Only of thee and me.

Only of thee and me, till all shall fade;
Only of us the whole world's thoughts can be --
For we are Love, and God Himself is made
Only of thee and me.

When the Wind is low. [Cale Young Rice]

When the wind is low, and the sea is soft,
And the far heat-lightning plays
On the rim of the west where dark clouds nest
On a darker bank of haze;
When I lean o'er the rail with you that I love
And gaze to my heart's content;
I know that the heavens are there above --
But you are my firmament.

When the phosphor-stars are thrown from the bow
And the watch climbs up the shroud;
When the dim mast dips as the vessel slips
Through the foam that seethes aloud;
I know that the years of our life are few,
And fain as a bird to flee,
That time is as brief as a drop of dew --
But you are Eternity.

Love Triumphant. [Frederic Lawrence Knowles]

Helen's lips are drifting dust;
Ilion is consumed with rust;
All the galleons of Greece
Drink the ocean's dreamless peace;
Lost was Solomon's purple show
Restless centuries ago;
Stately empires wax and wane --
Babylon, Barbary, and Spain; --
Only one thing, undefaced,
Lasts, though all the worlds lie waste
And the heavens are overturned.
Dear, how long ago we learned!

There's a sight that blinds the sun,
Sound that lives when sounds are done,
Music that rebukes the birds,
Language lovelier than words,
Hue and scent that shame the rose,
Wine no earthly vineyard knows,
Silence stiller than the shore
Swept by Charon's stealthy oar,
Ocean more divinely free
Than Pacific's boundless sea, --
Ye who love have learned it true.
Dear, how long ago we knew!

Be still. The Hanging Gardens were a dream. [Trumbull Stickney]

Be still. The Hanging Gardens were a dream
That over Persian roses flew to kiss
The curled lashes of Semiramis.
Troy never was, nor green Skamander stream.
Provence and Troubadour are merest lies,
The glorious hair of Venice was a beam
Made within Titian's eye. The sunsets seem,
The world is very old and nothing is.
Be still. Thou foolish thing, thou canst not wake,
Nor thy tears wedge thy soldered lids apart,
But patter in the darkness of thy heart.
Thy brain is plagued. Thou art a frighted owl
Blind with the light of life thou'ldst not forsake,
And Error loves and nourishes thy soul.

The Tears of Harlequin. [Theodosia Garrison]

To you he gave his laughter and his jest,
His words that of all words were merriest,
His glad, mad moments when the lights flared high
And his wild song outshrilled the plaudits' din.
For you that memory, but happier I --
I, who have known the tears of Harlequin.

Not mine those moments when the roses lay
Like red spilled wine on his triumphant way,
And shouts acclaimed him through the music's beat,
Above the voice of flute and violin.
But I have known his hour of sore defeat --
I -- I have known the tears of Harlequin.

Light kisses and light words, they were not mine --
Poor perquisites of many a Columbine
Bought with his laughter, flattered by his jest;
But when despair broke through the painted grin,
His tortured face has fallen on my breast --
I -- I have known the tears of Harlequin.

You weep for him, who look upon him dead,
That joy and jest and merriment are fled;
You weep for him, what time my eyes are dry,
Knowing what peace a weary soul may win
Stifled by too much masking -- even I --
I, who have known the tears of Harlequin.

The Buried City. [George Sylvester Viereck]

My heart is like a city of the gay
Reared on the ruins of a perished one
Wherein my dead loves cower from the sun,
White-swathed like kings, the Pharaohs of a day.
Within the buried city stirs no sound,
Save for the bat, forgetful of the rod,
Perched on the knee of some deserted god,
And for the groan of rivers underground.

Stray not, my Love, 'mid the sarcophagi --
Tempt not the silence, for the fates are deep,
Lest all the dreamers, deeming doomsday nigh,
Leap forth in terror from their haunted sleep;
And like the peal of an accursed bell
Thy voice call ghosts of dead things back from hell.

The Ride to the Lady. [Helen Gray Cone]

"Now since mine even is come at last, --
For I have been the sport of steel,
And hot life ebbeth from me fast,
And I in saddle roll and reel, --
Come bind me, bind me on my steed!
Of fingering leech I have no need!"
The chaplain clasped his mailed knee.
"Nor need I more thy whine and thee!
No time is left my sins to tell;
But look ye bind me, bind me well!"
They bound him strong with leathern thong,
For the ride to the lady should be long.

Day was dying; the poplars fled,
Thin as ghosts, on a sky blood-red;
Out of the sky the fierce hue fell,
And made the streams as the streams of hell.
All his thoughts as a river flowed,
Flowed aflame as fleet he rode,
Onward flowed to her abode,
Ceased at her feet, mirrored her face.
(Viewless Death apace, apace,
Rode behind him in that race.)

"Face, mine own, mine alone,
Trembling lips my lips have known,
Birdlike stir of the dove-soft eyne
Under the kisses that make them mine!
Only of thee, of thee, my need!
Only to thee, to thee, I speed!"
The Cross flashed by at the highway's turn;
In a beam of the moon the Face shone stern.

Far behind had the fight's din died;
The shuddering stars in the welkin wide
Crowded, crowded, to see him ride.
The beating hearts of the stars aloof
Kept time to the beat of the horse's hoof.
"What is the throb that thrills so sweet?
Heart of my lady, I feel it beat!"
But his own strong pulse the fainter fell,
Like the failing tongue of a hushing bell.
The flank of the great-limbed steed was wet
Not alone with the started sweat.

Fast, and fast, and the thick black wood
Arched its cowl like a black friar's hood;
Fast, and fast, and they plunged therein, --
But the viewless rider rode to win.

Out of the wood to the highway's light
Galloped the great-limbed steed in fright;
The mail clashed cold, and the sad owl cried,
And the weight of the dead oppressed his side.

Fast, and fast, by the road he knew;
And slow, and slow, the stars withdrew;
And the waiting heaven turned weirdly blue,
As a garment worn of a wizard grim.
He neighed at the gate in the morning dim.

She heard no sound before her gate,
Though very quiet was her bower.
All was as her hand had left it late:
The needle slept on the broidered vine,
Where the hammer and spikes of the passion-flower
Her fashioning did wait.

On the couch lay something fair,
With steadfast lips and veiled eyne;
But the lady was not there.
On the wings of shrift and prayer,
Pure as winds that winnow snow,
Her soul had risen twelve hours ago.
The burdened steed at the barred gate stood,
No whit the nearer to his goal.
Now God's great grace assoil the soul
That went out in the wood!

Evensong. [Ridgely Torrence]

Beauty calls and gives no warning,
Shadows rise and wander on the day.
In the twilight, in the quiet evening,
We shall rise and smile and go away.
Over the flaming leaves
Freezes the sky.
It is the season grieves,
Not you, not I.
All our spring-times, all our summers,
We have kept the longing warm within.
Now we leave the after-comers
To attain the dreams we did not win.
O we have wakened, Sweet, and had our birth,
And that's the end of earth;
And we have toiled and smiled and kept the light,
And that's the end of night.

Witchery. [Frank Dempster Sherman]

Out of the purple drifts,
From the shadow sea of night,
On tides of musk a moth uplifts
Its weary wings of white.

Is it a dream or ghost
Of a dream that comes to me,
Here in the twilight on the coast,
Blue cinctured by the sea?

Fashioned of foam and froth --
And the dream is ended soon,
And lo, whence came the moon-white moth
Comes now the moth-white moon!

Golden Pulse. [John Myers O'Hara]

Golden pulse grew on the shore,
Ferns along the hill,
And the red cliff roses bore
Bees to drink their fill;

Bees that from the meadows bring
Wine of melilot,
Honey-sups on golden wing
To the garden grot.

But to me, neglected flower,
Phaon will not see,
Passion brings no crowning hour,
Honey nor the bee.

Sappho. [Sara Teasdale]

The twilight's inner flame grows blue and deep,
And in my Lesbos, over leagues of sea,
The temples glimmer moonwise in the trees.
Twilight has veiled the little flower face
Here on my heart, but still the night is kind
And leaves her warm sweet weight against my breast.
Am I that Sappho who would run at dusk
Along the surges creeping up the shore
When tides came in to ease the hungry beach,
And running, running, till the night was black,
Would fall forespent upon the chilly sand
And quiver with the winds from off the sea?
Ah, quietly the shingle waits the tides
Whose waves are stinging kisses, but to me
Love brought no peace, nor darkness any rest.
I crept and touched the foam with fevered hands
And cried to Love, from whom the sea is sweet,
From whom the sea is bitterer than death.
Ah, Aphrodite, if I sing no more
To thee, God's daughter, powerful as God,
It is that thou hast made my life too sweet
To hold the added sweetness of a song.
There is a quiet at the heart of love,
And I have pierced the pain and come to peace.
I hold my peace, my Cleis, on my heart;
And softer than a little wild bird's wing
Are kisses that she pours upon my mouth.
Ah, never any more when spring like fire
Will flicker in the newly opened leaves,
Shall I steal forth to seek for solitude
Beyond the lure of light Alcaeus' lyre,
Beyond the sob that stilled Erinna's voice.
Ah, never with a throat that aches with song,
Beneath the white uncaring sky of spring,
Shall I go forth to hide awhile from Love
The quiver and the crying of my heart.
Still I remember how I strove to flee
The love-note of the birds, and bowed my head
To hurry faster, but upon the ground
I saw two winged shadows side by side,
And all the world's spring passion stifled me.
Ah, Love, there is no fleeing from thy might,
No lonely place where thou hast never trod,
No desert thou hast left uncarpeted
With flowers that spring beneath thy perfect feet.
In many guises didst thou come to me;
I saw thee by the maidens while they danced,
Phaon allured me with a look of thine,
In Anactoria I knew thy grace,
I looked at Cercolas and saw thine eyes;
But never wholly, soul and body mine,
Didst thou bid any love me as I loved.
Now I have found the peace that fled from me;
Close, close, against my heart I hold my world.
Ah, Love that made my life a lyric cry,
Ah, Love that tuned my lips to lyres of thine,
I taught the world thy music, now alone
I sing for one who falls asleep to hear.

Harps hung up in Babylon. [Arthur Colton]

The harps hung up in Babylon,
Their loosened strings rang on, sang on,
And cast their murmurs forth upon
The roll and roar of Babylon:
"~Forget me, Lord, if I forget
Jerusalem for Babylon,
If I forget the vision set
High as the head of Lebanon
Is lifted over Syria yet,
If I forget and bow me down
To brutish gods of Babylon.~"

Two rivers to each other run
In the very midst of Babylon,
And swifter than their current fleets
The restless river of the streets
Of Babylon, of Babylon,
And Babylon's towers smite the sky,
But higher reeks to God most high
The smoke of her iniquity:
"~But oh, betwixt the green and blue
To walk the hills that once we knew
When you were pure and I was true,~" --
So rang the harps in Babylon --
"~Or ere along the roads of stone
Had led us captive one by one
The subtle gods of Babylon.~"

The harps hung up in Babylon
Hung silent till the prophet dawn,
When Judah's feet the highway burned
Back to the holy hills returned,
And shook their dust on Babylon.
In Zion's halls the wild harps rang,
To Zion's walls their smitten clang,
And lo! of Babylon they sang,
They only sang of Babylon:
"~Jehovah, round whose throne of awe
The vassal stars their orbits draw
Within the circle of Thy law,
Canst thou make nothing what is done,
Or cause Thy servant to be one
That has not been in Babylon,
That has not known the power and pain
Of life poured out like driven rain?
I will go down and find again
My soul that's lost in Babylon.~"

Live blindly. [Trumbull Stickney]

Live blindly and upon the hour. The Lord,
Who was the Future, died full long ago.
Knowledge which is the Past is folly. Go,
Poor child, and be not to thyself abhorred.
Around thine earth sun-winged winds do blow
And planets roll; a meteor draws his sword;
The rainbow breaks his seven-coloured chord
And the long strips of river-silver flow:
Awake! Give thyself to the lovely hours.
Drinking their lips, catch thou the dream in flight
About their fragile hairs' aerial gold.
Thou art divine, thou livest, -- as of old
Apollo springing naked to the light,
And all his island shivered into flowers.

Love's Springtide. [Frank Dempster Sherman]

My heart was winter-bound until
I heard you sing;
O voice of Love, hush not, but fill
My life with Spring!

My hopes were homeless things before
I saw your eyes;
O smile of Love, close not the door
To paradise!

My dreams were bitter once, and then
I found them bliss;
O lips of Love, give me again
Your rose to kiss!

Springtide of Love! The secret sweet
Is ours alone;
O heart of Love, at last you beat
Against my own!

Wanderers. [George Sylvester Viereck]

Sweet is the highroad when the skylarks call,
When we and Love go rambling through the land.
But shall we still walk gayly, hand in hand,
At the road's turning and the twilight's fall?
Then darkness shall divide us like a wall,
And uncouth evil nightbirds flap their wings;
The solitude of all created things
Will creep upon us shuddering like a pall.

This is the knowledge I have wrung from pain:
We, yea, all lovers, are not one, but twain,
Each by strange wisps to strange abysses drawn;
But through the black immensity of night
Love's little lantern, like a glowworm's, bright,
May lead our steps to some stupendous dawn.

Ballade of my Lady's Beauty. [Joyce Kilmer]

Squire Adam had two wives, they say,
Two wives had he, for his delight,
He kissed and clypt them all the day
And clypt and kissed them all the night.
Now Eve like ocean foam was white
And Lilith roses dipped in wine,
But though they were a goodly sight
No lady is so fair as mine.

To Venus some folk tribute pay
And Queen of Beauty she is hight,
And Sainte Marie the world doth sway
In cerule napery bedight.
My wonderment these twain invite,
Their comeliness it is divine,
And yet I say in their despite,
No lady is so fair as mine.

Dame Helen caused a grievous fray,
For love of her brave men did fight,
The eyes of her made sages fey
And put their hearts in woeful plight.
To her no rhymes will I indite,
For her no garlands will I twine,
Though she be made of flowers and light
No lady is so fair as mine.


Prince Eros, Lord of lovely might,
Who on Olympus dost recline,
Do I not tell the truth aright?
No lady is so fair as mine.

Grieve not, Ladies. [Anna Hempstead Branch]

Oh, grieve not, Ladies, if at night
Ye wake to feel your beauty going.
It was a web of frail delight,
Inconstant as an April snowing.

In other eyes, in other lands,
In deep fair pools, new beauty lingers,
But like spent water in your hands
It runs from your reluctant fingers.

Ye shall not keep the singing lark
That owes to earlier skies its duty.
Weep not to hear along the dark
The sound of your departing beauty.

The fine and anguished ear of night
Is tuned to hear the smallest sorrow.
Oh, wait until the morning light!
It may not seem so gone to-morrow!

But honey-pale and rosy-red!
Brief lights that made a little shining!
Beautiful looks about us shed --
They leave us to the old repining.

Think not the watchful dim despair
Has come to you the first, sweet-hearted!
For oh, the gold in Helen's hair!
And how she cried when that departed!

Perhaps that one that took the most,
The swiftest borrower, wildest spender,
May count, as we would not, the cost --
And grow more true to us and tender.

Happy are we if in his eyes
We see no shadow of forgetting.
Nay -- if our star sinks in those skies
We shall not wholly see its setting.

Then let us laugh as do the brooks
That such immortal youth is ours,
If memory keeps for them our looks
As fresh as are the spring-time flowers.

Oh, grieve not, Ladies, if at night
Ye wake, to feel the cold December!
Rather recall the early light
And in your loved one's arms, remember.

Of Joan's Youth. [Louise Imogen Guiney]

I would unto my fair restore
A simple thing:
The flushing cheek she had before!
No more, no more,
On our sad shore,
The carmine grape, the moth's auroral wing.

Ah, say how winds in flooding grass
Unmoor the rose;
Or guileful ways the salmon pass
To sea, disclose:
For so, alas,
With Love, alas,
With fatal, fatal Love a girlhood goes.

I shall not care. [Sara Teasdale]

When I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Though you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace as leafy trees are peaceful,
When rain bends down the bough,
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.

Love came back at Fall o' Dew. [Lizette Woodworth Reese]

Love came back at fall o' dew,
Playing his old part;
But I had a word or two
That would break his heart.

"He who comes at candlelight,
That should come before,
Must betake him to the night
From a barred door."

This the word that made us part
In the fall o' dew;
This the word that brake his heart --
Yet it brake mine, too.

There's Rosemary. [Olive Tilford Dargan]

O love that is not Love, but dear, so dear!
That is not love because it goes full soon,
Like flower born and dead within one moon,
And yet is love, for that it comes too near
The guarded fane where love alone may peer,
Ere, like young spring by summer soon outshone,
It trembles into death; yet comes anon
As thoughts of spring will come though summer's here.

O star prelusive to a dream more fair,
Within my heart I'll keep a heaven for thee
Where thou mayst freely come and freely go,
Touching with thy faint gold ere I am 'ware
A twilight hope -- a dawn I did not see --
O love that is not Love, but nearly so!

Love's Ritual. [Charles Hanson Towne]

Breathe me the ancient words when I shall find
Your spirit mine; if, seeking you, life wins
New wonder, with old splendor let us bind
Our hearts when Love's high sacrament begins.

Exalt my soul with pomp and pageantry,
Sing the eternal songs all lovers sing;
Yea, when you come, gold let our vestments be,
And lamps of silver let us softly swing.

But if at last, (hark how I whisper, Love!)
You from my temple and from me should turn,
I pray you chant no psalm my grief above,
Over the body of Pain let no light burn.

Go forth in silence, quiet as a dove,
Drift, with no sign, from our exultant place;
We need no `Ite' at the death of Love,
And none should come to look on Love's white face.

Grey Rocks, and Greyer Sea. [Charles G. D. Roberts]

Grey rocks, and greyer sea,
And surf along the shore --
And in my heart a name
My lips shall speak no more.

The high and lonely hills
Endure the darkening year --
And in my heart endure
A memory and a tear.

Across the tide a sail
That tosses, and is gone --
And in my heart the kiss
That longing dreams upon.

Grey rocks, and greyer sea,
And surf along the shore --
And in my heart the face
That I shall see no more.

"Grandmither, think not I forget". [Willa Sibert Cather]

Grandmither, think not I forget, when I come back to town,
An' wander the old ways again, an' tread them up and down.
I never smell the clover bloom, nor see the swallows pass,
Wi'out I mind how good ye were unto a little lass;
I never hear the winter rain a-pelting all night through
Wi'out I think and mind me of how cold it falls on you.
An' if I come not often to your bed beneath the thyme,
Mayhap 't is that I'd change wi' ye, and gie my bed for thine,
Would like to sleep in thine.

I never hear the summer winds among the roses blow
Wi'out I wonder why it was ye loved the lassie so.
Ye gave me cakes and lollipops and pretty toys a score --
I never thought I should come back and ask ye now for more.
Grandmither, gie me your still white hands that lie upon your breast,
For mine do beat the dark all night and never find me rest;
They grope among the shadows an' they beat the cold black air,
They go seekin' in the darkness, an' they never find him there,
They never find him there.

Grandmither, gie me your sightless eyes, that I may never see
His own a-burnin' full o' love that must not shine for me.
Grandmither, gie me your peaceful lips, white as the kirkyard snow,
For mine be tremblin' wi' the wish that he must never know.
Grandmither, gie me your clay-stopped ears, that I may never hear
My lad a-singin' in the night when I am sick wi' fear;
A-singin' when the moonlight over a' the land is white --
Ah, God! I'll up and go to him, a-singin' in the night,
A-callin' in the night.

Grandmither, gie me your clay-cold heart, that has forgot to ache,
For mine be fire wi'in my breast an' yet it cannot break.
Wi' every beat it's callin' for things that must not be, --
So can ye not let me creep in an' rest awhile by ye?
A little lass afeard o' dark slept by ye years agone --
An' she has found what night can hold 'twixt sunset an' the dawn:
So when I plant the rose an' rue above your grave for ye,
Ye'll know it's under rue an' rose that I would like to be,
That I would like to be.

When I am dead and Sister to the Dust. [Elsa Barker]

When I am dead and sister to the dust;
When no more avidly I drink the wine
Of human love; when the pale Proserpine
Has covered me with poppies, and cold rust
Has cut my lyre-strings, and the sun has thrust
Me underground to nourish the world-vine, --
Men shall discover these old songs of mine,
And say: This woman lived -- as poets must!

This woman lived and wore life as a sword
To conquer wisdom; this dead woman read
In the sealed Book of Love and underscored
The meanings. Then the sails of faith she spread,
And faring out for regions unexplored,
Went singing down the River of the Dead.

Little Gray Songs from St. Joseph's. [Grace Fallow Norton]


With cassock black, baret and book,
Father Saran goes by;
I think he goes to say a prayer
For one who has to die.

Even so, some day, Father Saran
May say a prayer for me;
Myself meanwhile, the Sister tells,
Should pray unceasingly.

They kneel who pray: how may I kneel
Who face to ceiling lie,
Shut out by all that man has made
From God who made the sky?

They lift who pray -- the low earth-born --
A humble heart to God:
But O, my heart of clay is proud --
True sister to the sod.

I look into the face of God,
They say bends over me;
I search the dark, dark face of God --
O what is it I see?

I see -- who lie fast bound, who may
Not kneel, who can but seek --
I see mine own face over me,
With tears upon its cheek.


If my dark grandam had but known,
Or yet my wild grandsir,
Or the lord that lured the maid away
That was my sad mother,

O had they known, O had they dreamed
What gift it was they gave,
Would they have stayed their wild, wild love,
Nor made my years their slave?

Must they have stopped their hungry lips
From love at thought of me?
O life, O life, how may we learn
Thy strangest mystery?

Nay, they knew not, as we scarce know;
Their souls, O let them rest;
My life is pupil unto pain --
With him I make my quest.


My little soul I never saw,
Nor can I count its days;
I do not know its wondrous law
And yet I know its ways.

O it is young as morning-hours,
And old as is the night;
O it has growth of budding flowers,
Yet tastes my body's blight.

And it is silent and apart,
And far and fair and still,
Yet ever beats within my heart,
And cries within my will.

And it is light and bright and strange,
And sees life far away,
Yet far with near can interchange
And dwell within the day.

My soul has died a thousand deaths,
And yet it does not die;
My soul has broke a thousand faiths,
And yet it cannot lie;

My soul -- there's naught can make it less;
My soul -- there's naught can mar;
Yet here it weeps with loneliness
Within its lonely star.

My soul -- not any dark can bind,
Nor hinder any hand,
Yet here it weeps -- long blind, long blind --
And cannot understand.

Irish Peasant Song. [Louise Imogen Guiney]

I try to knead and spin, but my life is low the while.
Oh, I long to be alone, and walk abroad a mile;
Yet if I walk alone, and think of naught at all,
Why from me that's young should the wild tears fall?

The shower-sodden earth, the earth-colored streams,
They breathe on me awake, and moan to me in dreams,
And yonder ivy fondling the broke castle-wall,
It pulls upon my heart till the wild tears fall.

The cabin-door looks down a furze-lighted hill,
And far as Leighlin Cross the fields are green and still;
But once I hear the blackbird in Leighlin hedges call,
The foolishness is on me, and the wild tears fall!

The Prince. [Josephine Dodge Daskam]

My heart it was a cup of gold
That at his lip did long to lie,
But he hath drunk the red wine down,
And tossed the goblet by.

My heart it was a floating bird
That through the world did wander free,
But he hath locked it in a cage,
And lost the silver key.

My heart it was a white, white rose
That bloomed upon a broken bough,
He did but wear it for an hour,
And it is withered now.

Four Winds. [Sara Teasdale]

"Four winds blowing thro' the sky,
You have seen poor maidens die,
Tell me then what I shall do
That my lover may be true."
Said the wind from out the south,
"Lay no kiss upon his mouth,"
And the wind from out the west,
"Wound the heart within his breast,"
And the wind from out the east,
"Send him empty from the feast,"
And the wind from out the north,
"In the tempest thrust him forth;
When thou art more cruel than he,
Then will Love be kind to thee."

A West-Country Lover. [Alice Brown]

Then, lady, at last thou art sick of my sighing.
So long as I sue, thou wilt still be denying?
Ah, well! shall I vow then to serve thee forever,
And swear no unkindness our kinship can sever?
Nay, nay, dear my lass! here's an end of endeavor.

Yet let no sweet ruth for my misery grieve thee.
The man who has loved knows as well how to leave thee.
The gorse is enkindled, there's bloom on the heather,
And love is my joy, but so too is fair weather;
I still ride abroad though we ride not together.

My horse is my mate; let the wind be my master.
Though Care may pursue, yet my hound follows faster.
The red deer's a-tremble in coverts unbroken.
He hears the hoof-thunder; he scents the death-token.
Shall I mope at home, under vows never spoken?

The brown earth's my book, and I ride forth to read it.
The stream runneth fast, but my will shall outspeed it.
I love thee, dear lass, but I hate the hag Sorrow.
As sun follows rain, and to-night has its morrow,
So I'll taste of joy, though I steal, beg, or borrow!

A Winter Ride. [Amy Lowell]

Who shall declare the joy of the running!
Who shall tell of the pleasures of flight!
Springing and spurning the tufts of wild heather,
Sweeping, wide-winged, through the blue dome of light.
Everything mortal has moments immortal,
Swift and God-gifted, immeasurably bright.
So with the stretch of the white road before me,
Shining snow crystals rainbowed by the sun,
Fields that are white, stained with long, cool, blue shadows,
Strong with the strength of my horse as we run.
Joy in the touch of the wind and the sunlight!
Joy! With the vigorous earth I am one.

Sic Vita. [William Stanley Braithwaite]

Heart free, hand free,
Blue above, brown under,
All the world to me
Is a place of wonder.
Sun shine, moon shine,
Stars, and winds a-blowing,
All into this heart of mine
Flowing, flowing, flowing!

Mind free, step free,
Days to follow after,
Joys of life sold to me
For the price of laughter.
Girl's love, man's love,
Love of work and duty,
Just a will of God's to prove
Beauty, beauty, beauty!

Across the Fields to Anne. [Richard Burton]

How often in the summer-tide,
His graver business set aside,
Has stripling Will, the thoughtful-eyed,
As to the pipe of Pan,
Stepped blithesomely with lover's pride
Across the fields to Anne.

It must have been a merry mile,
This summer stroll by hedge and stile,
With sweet foreknowledge all the while
How sure the pathway ran
To dear delights of kiss and smile,
Across the fields to Anne.

The silly sheep that graze to-day,
I wot, they let him go his way,
Nor once looked up, as who should say:
"It is a seemly man."
For many lads went wooing aye
Across the fields to Anne.

The oaks, they have a wiser look;
Mayhap they whispered to the brook:
"The world by him shall yet be shook,
It is in nature's plan;
Though now he fleets like any rook
Across the fields to Anne."

And I am sure, that on some hour
Coquetting soft 'twixt sun and shower,
He stooped and broke a daisy-flower
With heart of tiny span,
And bore it as a lover's dower
Across the fields to Anne.

While from her cottage garden-bed
She plucked a jasmine's goodlihede,
To scent his jerkin's brown instead;
Now since that love began,
What luckier swain than he who sped
Across the fields to Anne?

The winding path whereon I pace,
The hedgerow's green, the summer's grace,
Are still before me face to face;
Methinks I almost can
Turn poet and join the singing race
Across the fields to Anne!

The House and the Road. [Josephine Preston Peabody]

The little Road says, Go,
The little House says, Stay:
And O, it's bonny here at home,
But I must go away.

The little Road, like me,
Would seek and turn and know;
And forth I must, to learn the things
The little Road would show!

And go I must, my dears,
And journey while I may,
Though heart be sore for the little House
That had no word but Stay.

Maybe, no other way
Your child could ever know
Why a little House would have you stay,
When a little Road says, Go.

The Path to the Woods. [Madison Cawein]

Its friendship and its carelessness
Did lead me many a mile,
Through goat's-rue, with its dim caress,
And pink and pearl-white smile;
Through crowfoot, with its golden lure,
And promise of far things,
And sorrel with its glance demure
And wide-eyed wonderings.

It led me with its innocence,
As childhood leads the wise,
With elbows here of tattered fence,
And blue of wildflower eyes;
With whispers low of leafy speech,
And brook-sweet utterance;
With bird-like words of oak and beech,
And whisperings clear as Pan's.

It led me with its childlike charm,
As candor leads desire,
Now with a clasp of blossomy arm,
A butterfly kiss of fire;
Now with a toss of tousled gold,
A barefoot sound of green,
A breath of musk, of mossy mold,
With vague allurements keen.

It led me with remembered things
Into an old-time vale,
Peopled with faery glimmerings,
And flower-like fancies pale;
Where fungous forms stood, gold and gray,
Each in its mushroom gown,
And, roofed with red, glimpsed far away,
A little toadstool town.

It led me with an idle ease,
A vagabond look and air,
A sense of ragged arms and knees
In weeds grown everywhere;
It led me, as a gypsy leads,
To dingles no one knows,
With beauty burred with thorny seeds,
And tangled wild with rose.

It led me as simplicity
Leads age and its demands,
With bee-beat of its ecstasy,
And berry-stained touch of hands;
With round revealments, puff-ball white,
Through rents of weedy brown,
And petaled movements of delight
In roseleaf limb and gown.

It led me on and on and on,
Beyond the Far Away,
Into a world long dead and gone, --
The world of Yesterday:
A faery world of memory,
Old with its hills and streams,
Wherein the child I used to be
Still wanders with his dreams.

Sometimes. [Thomas S. Jones, Jr.]

Across the fields of yesterday
He sometimes comes to me,
A little lad just back from play --
The lad I used to be.

And yet he smiles so wistfully
Once he has crept within,
I wonder if he hopes to see
The man I might have been.

Renascence. [Edna St. Vincent Millay]

All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I'd started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.
Over these things I could not see;
These were the things that bounded me;
And I could touch them with my hand,
Almost, I thought, from where I stand.
And all at once things seemed so small
My breath came short, and scarce at all.
But, sure, the sky is big, I said;
Miles and miles above my head;
So here upon my back I'll lie
And look my fill into the sky.
And so I looked, and, after all,
The sky was not so very tall.
The sky, I said, must somewhere stop,
And -- sure enough! -- I see the top!
The sky, I thought, is not so grand;
I 'most could touch it with my hand!
And, reaching up my hand to try,
I screamed to feel it touch the sky.

I screamed, and -- lo! -- Infinity
Came down and settled over me;
And, pressing of the Undefined
The definition on my mind,
Held up before my eyes a glass
Through which my shrinking sight did pass
Until it seemed I must behold
Immensity made manifold;
Whispered to me a word whose sound
Deafened the air for worlds around,
And brought unmuffled to my ears
The gossiping of friendly spheres,
The creaking of the tented sky,
The ticking of Eternity.
I saw and heard, and knew at last
The How and Why of all things, past,
And present, and forevermore.
The universe, cleft to the core,
Lay open to my probing sense
That, sick'ning, I would fain pluck thence
But could not, -- nay! But needs must suck
At the great wound, and could not pluck
My lips away till I had drawn
All venom out. -- Ah, fearful pawn!
For my omniscience paid I toll
In infinite remorse of soul.
All sin was of my sinning, all
Atoning mine, and mine the gall
Of all regret. Mine was the weight
Of every brooded wrong, the hate
That stood behind each envious thrust,
Mine every greed, mine every lust.
And all the while for every grief,
Each suffering, I craved relief
With individual desire, --
Craved all in vain! And felt fierce fire
About a thousand people crawl;
Perished with each, -- then mourned for all!
A man was starving in Capri;
He moved his eyes and looked at me;
I felt his gaze, I heard his moan,
And knew his hunger as my own.
I saw at sea a great fog-bank
Between two ships that struck and sank;
A thousand screams the heavens smote;
And every scream tore through my throat.
No hurt I did not feel, no death
That was not mine; mine each last breath
That, crying, met an answering cry
From the compassion that was I.
All suffering mine, and mine its rod;
Mine, pity like the pity of God.
Ah, awful weight! Infinity
Pressed down upon the finite Me!
My anguished spirit, like a bird,
Beating against my lips I heard;
Yet lay the weight so close about
There was no room for it without.
And so beneath the Weight lay I
And suffered death, but could not die.

Long had I lain thus, craving death,
When quietly the earth beneath
Gave way, and inch by inch, so great
At last had grown the crushing weight,
Into the earth I sank till I
Full six feet under ground did lie,
And sank no more, -- there is no weight
Can follow here, however great.
From off my breast I felt it roll,
And as it went my tortured soul
Burst forth and fled in such a gust
That all about me swirled the dust.

Deep in the earth I rested now;
Cool is its hand upon the brow
And soft its breast beneath the head
Of one who is so gladly dead.
And all at once, and over all,
The pitying rain began to fall;
I lay and heard each pattering hoof
Upon my lowly, thatched roof,
And seemed to love the sound far more
Than ever I had done before.
For rain it hath a friendly sound
To one who's six feet underground;
And scarce the friendly voice or face:
A grave is such a quiet place.

The rain, I said, is kind to come
And speak to me in my new home.
I would I were alive again
To kiss the fingers of the rain,
To drink into my eyes the shine
Of every slanting silver line,
To catch the freshened, fragrant breeze
From drenched and dripping apple-trees.
For soon the shower will be done,
And then the broad face of the sun
Will laugh above the rain-soaked earth
Until the world with answering mirth
Shakes joyously, and each round drop
Rolls, twinkling, from its grass-blade top.
How can I bear it; buried here,
While overhead the sky grows clear
And blue again after the storm?
O, multi-colored, multiform,
Beloved beauty over me,
That I shall never, never see
Again! Spring-silver, autumn-gold,
That I shall never more behold!
Sleeping your myriad magics through,
Close-sepulchred away from you!
O God, I cried, give me new birth,
And put me back upon the earth!
Upset each cloud's gigantic gourd
And let the heavy rain, down-poured
In one big torrent, set me free,
Washing my grave away from me!

I ceased; and, through the breathless hush
That answered me, the far-off rush
Of herald wings came whispering
Like music down the vibrant string
Of my ascending prayer, and -- crash!
Before the wild wind's whistling lash
The startled storm-clouds reared on high
And plunged in terror down the sky,
And the big rain in one black wave
Fell from the sky and struck my grave.

I know not how such things can be
I only know there came to me
A fragrance such as never clings
To aught save happy living things;
A sound as of some joyous elf
Singing sweet songs to please himself,
And, through and over everything,
A sense of glad awakening.
The grass, a-tiptoe at my ear,
Whispering to me I could hear;
I felt the rain's cool finger-tips
Brushed tenderly across my lips,
Laid gently on my sealed sight,
And all at once the heavy night
Fell from my eyes and I could see, --
A drenched and dripping apple-tree,
A last long line of silver rain,
A sky grown clear and blue again.
And as I looked a quickening gust
Of wind blew up to me and thrust
Into my face a miracle
Of orchard-breath, and with the smell, --
I know not how such things can be! --
I breathed my soul back into me.
Ah! Up then from the ground sprang I
And hailed the earth with such a cry
As is not heard save from a man
Who has been dead, and lives again.
About the trees my arms I wound;
Like one gone mad I hugged the ground;
I raised my quivering arms on high;
I laughed and laughed into the sky,
Till at my throat a strangling sob
Caught fiercely, and a great heart-throb
Sent instant tears into my eyes;
O God, I cried, no dark disguise
Can e'er hereafter hide from me
Thy radiant identity!
Thou canst not move across the grass
But my quick eyes will see Thee pass,
Nor speak, however silently,
But my hushed voice will answer Thee.
I know the path that tells Thy way
Through the cool eve of every day;
God, I can push the grass apart
And lay my finger on Thy heart!

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky, --
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That cannot keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat -- the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.

Souls. [Fannie Stearns Davis]

My Soul goes clad in gorgeous things,
Scarlet and gold and blue;
And at her shoulder sudden wings
Like long flames flicker through.

And she is swallow-fleet, and free
From mortal bonds and bars.
She laughs, because Eternity
Blossoms for her with stars!

O folk who scorn my stiff gray gown,
My dull and foolish face, --
Can ye not see my Soul flash down,
A singing flame through space?

And folk, whose earth-stained looks I hate,
Why may I not divine
Your Souls, that must be passionate,
Shining and swift, as mine!

Fiat Lux. [Lloyd Mifflin]

Then that dread angel near the awful throne,
Leaving the seraphs ranged in flaming tiers,
Winged his dark way through those unpinioned spheres,
And on the void's black beetling edge, alone,
Stood with raised wings, and listened for the tone
Of God's command to reach his eager ears,
While Chaos wavered, for she felt her years
Unsceptered now in that convulsive zone.
Night trembled. And as one hath oft beheld
A lamp within a vase light up its gloom,
So God's voice lighted him, from heel to plume:
"Let there be light!" It said, and Darkness, quelled,
Shrunk noiseless backward in her monstrous womb
Through vasts unwinnowed by the wings of eld!

The Dreamer. [Nicholas Vachel Lindsay]

"~Why do you seek the sun,
In your Bubble-Crown ascending?
Your chariot will melt to mist,
Your crown will have an ending.~"
"Nay, sun is but a Bubble,
Earth is a whiff of Foam --
To my caves on the coast of Thule
Each night I call them home.
Thence Faiths blow forth to angels
And Loves blow forth to men --
They break and turn to nothing
And I make them whole again:
On the crested waves of chaos
I ride them back reborn:
New stars I bring at evening
For those that burst at morn:
My soul is the wind of Thule
And evening is the sign,
The sun is but a Bubble,
A fragile child of mine."

A Caravan from China comes. [Richard Le Gallienne]

(After Hafiz)

A caravan from China comes;
For miles it sweetens all the air
With fragrant silks and dreaming gums,
Attar and myrrh --
A caravan from China comes.

O merchant, tell me what you bring,
With music sweet of camel bells;
How long have you been travelling
With these sweet smells?
O merchant, tell me what you bring.

A lovely lady is my freight,
A lock escaped of her long hair, --
That is this perfume delicate
That fills the air --
A lovely lady is my freight.

Her face is from another land,
I think she is no mortal maid, --
Her beauty, like some ghostly hand,
Makes me afraid;
Her face is from another land.

The little moon my cargo is,
About her neck the Pleiades
Clasp hands and sing; Hafiz, 't is this
Perfumes the breeze --
The little moon my cargo is.

As I came down from Lebanon. [Clinton Scollard]

As I came down from Lebanon,
Came winding, wandering slowly down
Through mountain passes bleak and brown,
The cloudless day was well-nigh done.
The city, like an opal set
In emerald, showed each minaret
Afire with radiant beams of sun,
And glistened orange, fig, and lime,
Where song-birds made melodious chime,
As I came down from Lebanon.

As I came down from Lebanon,
Like lava in the dying glow,
Through olive orchards far below
I saw the murmuring river run;
And 'neath the wall upon the sand
Swart sheiks from distant Samarcand,
With precious spices they had won,
Lay long and languidly in wait
Till they might pass the guarded gate,
As I came down from Lebanon.

As I came down from Lebanon,
I saw strange men from lands afar,
In mosque and square and gay bazar,
The Magi that the Moslem shun,
And grave Effendi from Stamboul,
Who sherbet sipped in corners cool;
And, from the balconies o'errun
With roses, gleamed the eyes of those
Who dwell in still seraglios,
As I came down from Lebanon.

As I came down from Lebanon,
The flaming flower of daytime died,
And Night, arrayed as is a bride
Of some great king, in garments spun
Of purple and the finest gold,
Outbloomed in glories manifold,
Until the moon, above the dun
And darkening desert, void of shade,
Shone like a keen Damascus blade,
As I came down from Lebanon.

The Only Way. [Louis V. Ledoux]


Memphis and Karnak, Luxor, Thebes, the Nile:
Of these your letters told; and I who read
Saw loom on dim horizons Egypt's dead
In march across the desert, mile on mile,
A ghostly caravan in slow defile
Between the sand and stars; and at their head
From unmapped darkness into darkness fled
The gods that Egypt feared a little while.

There black against the night I saw them loom
With captive kings and armies in array
Remembered only by their sculptured doom,
And thought: What Egypt was are we to-day.
Then rose obscure against the rearward gloom
The march of Empires yet to pass away.


I looked in vision down the centuries
And saw how Athens stood a sunlit while
A sovereign city free from greed and guile,
The half-embodied dream of Pericles.
Then saw I one of smooth words, swift to please,
At laggard virtue mock with shrug and smile;
With Cleon's creed rang court and peristyle,
Then sank the sun in far Sicilian seas.

From brows ignoble fell the violet crown.
Again the warning sounds; the hosts engage:
In Cleon's face we fling our battle gage,
We win as foes of Cleon loud renown;
But while we think to build the coming age
The laurel on our brows is turning brown.


We top the poisonous blooms that choke the state,
At flower and fruit our flashing strokes are made,
The whetted scythe on stalk and stem is laid,
But deeper must we strike to extirpate
The rooted evil that within our gate
Will sprout again and flourish, branch and blade;
For only from within can ill be stayed
While Adam's seed is unregenerate.

With zeal redoubled let our strength be strained
To cut the rooted causes where they hold,
Nor spend our sinews on the fungus mold
When all the breeding marshes must be drained.
Be this our aim; and let our youth be trained
To honor virtue more than place and gold.


A hundred cities sapped by slow decay,
A hundred codes and systems proven vain
Lie hearsed in sand upon the heaving plain,
Memorial ruins mounded, still and gray;
And we who plod the barren waste to-day
Another code evolving, think to gain
Surcease of man's inheritance of pain
And mold a state immune from evil's sway.

Not laws; but virtue in the soul we need,
The old Socratic justice in the heart,
The golden rule become the people's creed
When years of training have performed their part
For thus alone in home and church and mart
Can evil perish and the race be freed.

The Dust Dethroned. [George Sterling]

Sargon is dust, Semiramis a clod!
In crypts profaned the moon at midnight peers;
The owl upon the Sphinx hoots in her ears,
And scant and sear the desert grasses nod
Where once the armies of Assyria trod,
With younger sunlight splendid on the spears;
The lichens cling the closer with the years,
And seal the eyelids of the weary god.

Where high the tombs of royal Egypt heave,
The vulture shadows with arrested wings
The indecipherable boast of kings,
As Arab children hear their mother's cry
And leave in mockery their toy -- they leave
The skull of Pharaoh staring at the sky.

Kinchinjunga. [Cale Young Rice]

(Which is the next highest of mountains)


O white Priest of Eternity, around
Whose lofty summit veiling clouds arise
Of the earth's immemorial sacrifice
To Brahma in whose breath all lives and dies;
O Hierarch enrobed in timeless snows,
First-born of Asia whose maternal throes
Seem changed now to a million human woes,
Holy thou art and still! Be so, nor sound
One sigh of all the mystery in thee found.


For in this world too much is overclear,
Immortal Ministrant to many lands,
From whose ice-altars flow to fainting sands
Rivers that each libation poured expands.
Too much is known, O Ganges-giving sire!
Thy people fathom life and find it dire,
Thy people fathom death, and, in it, fire
To live again, though in Illusion's sphere,
Behold concealed as Grief is in a tear.


Wherefore continue, still enshrined, thy rites,
Though dark Thibet, that dread ascetic, falls
In strange austerity, whose trance appalls,
Before thee, and a suppliant on thee calls.
Continue still thy silence high and sure,
That something beyond fleeting may endure --
Something that shall forevermore allure
Imagination on to mystic flights
Wherein alone no wing of Evil lights.


Yea, wrap thy awful gulfs and acolytes
Of lifted granite round with reachless snows.
Stand for Eternity while pilgrim rows
Of all the nations envy thy repose.
Ensheath thy swart sublimities, unscaled.
Be that alone on earth which has not failed.
Be that which never yet has yearned or ailed,
But since primeval Power upreared thy heights
Has stood above all deaths and all delights.


And though thy loftier Brother shall be King,
High-priest art thou to Brahma unrevealed,
While thy white sanctity forever sealed
In icy silence leaves desire congealed.
In ghostly ministrations to the sun,
And to the mendicant stars and the moon-nun,
Be holy still, till East to West has run,
And till no sacrificial suffering
On any shrine is left to tell life's sting.

Scum o' the Earth. [Robert Haven Schauffler]


At the gate of the West I stand,
On the isle where the nations throng.
We call them "scum o' the earth";

Stay, are we doing you wrong,
Young fellow from Socrates' land? --
You, like a Hermes so lissome and strong
Fresh from the Master Praxiteles' hand?
So you're of Spartan birth?
Descended, perhaps, from one of the band --
Deathless in story and song --
Who combed their long hair at Thermopylae's pass?
Ah, I forget the straits, alas!
More tragic than theirs, more compassion-worth,
That have doomed you to march in our "immigrant class"
Where you're nothing but "scum o' the earth".

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